Registering Forfar Bridie under the EU Protected Food Name (PFN) scheme: consultation

Consultation to register Forfar Bridie as a product of protected geographical indication under the EU Protected Food Name scheme.

Consultation Document



"Forfar Bridie "

PDO ( ) PGI ()


Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
EU Food Policy Team - Food and Policy Unit
Nobel House17 Smith Square
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)207 238 6075


Name: Forfar Bridie Producers Association


c/o James McLaren & Son (Bakers) Ltd
22/26 Market Street

Tel: +44 (0)1307 463 315

Composition: Producers/processors (3 ) Other ( 1 )


Class 1.2 - Meat products (cooked, salted, smoked, etc.)


(summary of requirements under Article 7 of Regulation ( EC) No 1151/2012)

4.1 Name:

"Forfar Bridie"

4.2 Description:

The Forfar Bridie is a flat horseshoe / "D" shaped pasty made of a savoury beef and onion filling in a shortcrust pastry case, which is crimped by hand along the curved edge.

The pastry is golden in colour. The taste is rounded, predominantly tasting of beef and onion with seasoning. The bite is firm as the beef is either chopped or coarse minced (to a minimum of 8mm). The meat is raw when the pasty is assembled and is freshly prepared.

Flavourings and additives must not be used and will include only the following ingredients: Pastry (flour, vegetable fat or lard, salt, water), Filling (beef, onions, suet or beef fat, salt and pepper, rusk or breadcrumbs, flour, water).

4.3 Geographical area:

The area enclosed by the parish boundaries of the town of Forfar, Glamis and Kinnettles (see boundary map).

Boundary map

4.4 Proof of origin:

Proof that the product is manufactured in the designated area can be demonstrated by reference to the records maintained by the producers and by reference to the traceability systems which are in place. Each producer will receive their own certification number provided by the inspection body. This unique certification number will be displayed on the product packaging and at point of sale and can be used to trace each pasty sold directly back to the producer. A register of all certification numbers will be maintained by Forfar Bridie Producers Association and the Inspection Body. The Forfar Bridie Producers Association will police the use of its own authentication mark, granted to each of its members.

Individual records are kept by producers to prove that traceability systems are in place. Annual checks by the inspection body will ensure the producers comply with the specification.

Each of the producers maintains full records of traceability. As raw materials arrive on the premises, the producers record details of the supplier, along with the date and quantity of materials. Producers sell the product directly to customers and may also sell to wholesale customers. In the latter cases customer orders are maintained in an order book and all invoices and delivery notes contain details of the customer, destination, product and quantity.

4.5 Method of production:

The production, processing and preparation of Forfar Bridies takes place in the defined geographical area (see attached boundary map).

Preparation of filling: Beef is tenderised and coarsely chopped by hand or minced using mechanical means to achieve quite large visible pieces (min 8mm). Rusk or breadcrumbs and seasoning, including salt and pepper, are then added. The filling is prepared from raw materials.

While according to tradition and heritage, there is some individual variation in the recipes used, the percentages of ingredients used in a Forfar Bridie must fall within the following ranges: -

  • Beef - minimum of 60% to a maximum of 75%
  • Fat or suet - minimum of 6% to a maximum of 12%
  • Onions - minimum of 5% to a maximum of 10%
  • Crumb or Rusk - minimum of 5% to a maximum of 10%
  • Seasoning - minimum of 0.2% to a maximum of 1%
  • Water - minimum of 10% to a maximum of 15%

Preparation of pastry: The pastry is prepared using flour, vegetable fat or lard, water and salt. The pastry is rolled out by hand into the traditional bridie horseshoe / "D" shape.

Filling of Bridie: The raw meat filling, and onion and beef fat, is placed onto part of the pastry and the pastry folded to make the traditional horseshoe shape. The edges of the pastry are dampened with water and the bridie is hand crimped. A hole is made in the pastry to let out the steam. A Forfar Bridie is made using short crust pastry and therefore no glazes are applied.

Baking: The bridie is placed in a hot oven until golden brown. Bridies may also be sold frozen raw for later baking (at temperatures of 210 degrees Celsius).


4.6 Link & History:

The County of Angus, formally called Forfarshire, is famous for beef. The climate and landscape of areas such as the Vale of Strathmore supported an ancient breed of hornless or polled black cattle known as Angus Doddies. Forfar, to the North of the Vale of Strathmore is the county town and administrative centre of Angus where these cattle were sold at the regular livestock market. Butchers in and around the county town made their trade from this beef.

The Forfar Bridie is a solid horseshoe or "D" shaped pasty made of a savoury beef and onion filling in a shortcrust pastry case. It has become a tradition to eat these bridies for lunch on Saturday in Forfar.

J.M. Barrie (1860-1937), author of Peter Pan, wrote about the Bridie in his novel Sentimental Tommy (1896, page 206). This is an account of a little boy growing up in a town called 'Thrums' which was based on Kirriemuir, six miles from Forfar, where Barrie himself was born and raised. He certainly would have been familiar with the Bridie from his childhood days.

"She nibbled dreamily at a hot sweet-smelling bridie, whose gravy oozed deliciously through a burst paper-bag."

The word 'Bridie' has no meaning either in English, Scots or Gaelic other than its connection with the Forfar Bridie. It is claimed that the word bridie comes from 'bride's meal' the pasties being served at the wedding feast and fashioned into a horse shoe shape, the symbol for good luck

Forfar Bridies are similar to other pasties, however Forfar Bridies are made without potatoes and are therefore much lighter in texture. Local stories claim the Forfar Bridie was invented by and took its name from one Margaret Bridie of Glamis who sold these meat pasties at the Butter Market at Forfar in the eighteenth century. Recent genealogical research shows that there was a Margaret Bridie who lived in the first part of the eighteenth century in Glamis. It is possible that the bridie was invented in and around Forfar using the local Angus beef and made by wives for their husbands working in the fields. Margaret Bridie sold them successfully in Forfar at the Buttermarket. Records indicate that Jolly's of Queen Street in Forfar was making Forfar Bridies in the 1840's.


The uniqueness of the bridie and its link with Forfar goes back to at least 1833 when it was reported in the Aberdeen Shaver in 1833 (October 17 edition, page 13); "James Torry is about to introduce a famed sort of Pye, in Edinburgh called Forfar Bridies."

The Forfar Bridie holds a unique place in the town's heritage and is popular with tourists and visitors to the area. Indeed one of the attractions of going to see a football match at Station Park, the ground of Forfar Athletic Football Club, is the availability of Forfar Bridies for the traditional "half-time snack", instead of the usual mince pie. The Forfar Bridie remains a unique part of the culture and heritage of the town to this day, as any Forfarian will attest to.

Currently there are over 10,000 references to the Forfar Bridie on Google. All the major guide books to Scotland, such as the Rough Guide, identify the town as the originator of the Forfar Bridie.

4.7 Inspection body:

Name: Angus Council Environmental & Consumer Protection


County Buildings
Market Street

Tel: +44 (0)1307 473 362

4.8 Labelling:



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